Look! A post!

Baby 2 just spontaneously passed out in his chair so there is half a chance I might actually be able to complete a blog post. Or at least start one that I will post a week from now when I happen to be looking at my page and realize that there is something in ‘drafts’. So we’ll see how this goes.

Believe it or not I have actually kept with my plan and have managed to make some headway with editing the WIP. As I suspected, one or two pages per day didn’t happen…that being said, today I completed editing page 36 and Baby 2 was born thirty-four days ago, so it is averaging out. ūüôā There is some temptation to keep barrelling right along but instead I’m going to pause and give those 36 pages at least one more pass-over. I have a few reasons for doing this:

1. Two of my friends who decided to move much too far away are coming to visit next weekend. While they have made it clear that they certainly don’t expect me to have any writing available for them to look at, they have also made it clear how happy they would be if I did.

If you’d like to acquaint yourself with said friends, they are here¬†and here. If you do acquaint yourself with them, feel free to suggest they move closer to me. ¬†ūüėõ

2. My next long piece is due for critique class next week. I’m considering giving the opening chapter, since last time I gave a piece of chapter 2 and was met with clamours to know what had come before (which was damn nice, I must admit!). I like the opening, it just needs some slight changes since some of the details have changed in my head even over the past few days. I was also considering giving a later piece – this scene is quite dark and the previous ones I’ve given were dark also, so I thought I might go for something different. But then my husband pointed out that…

3. Even though the publisher who wants to see this WIP wants to see the whole thing, depending on how it goes I might have to start by giving just the first three chapters…or if I have to present it elsewhere, it would be with the first three chapters. And the first 36 pages are, in fact, the first three chapters.

This means that I also might just post my Lucky Seven meme. ¬†You know, if I like what’s on page 77. ¬†ūüėČ


Juggling life with two kids is still proving to be a challenge, and I’m awaiting ¬†the summer holidays with some trepidation. With any luck, we’ll be into some semblance of a routine by then and perhaps that will make things easier. At the moment however, I feel like I’m still flying by the seat of my pants…and, as I’m only one month into this mom-of-two-kids thing, I think that’s more than okay. I’d be willing to give myself even more time to get organized if I wasn’t worried about the aforementioned holidays. Nevertheless, settling into this is actually going far better than I had anticipated. Baby 2 is a very good baby – he naps (though not in his crib, unfortunately) and the nights haven’t been TOO bad (yet), though I do stay up far too late for no good reason on most night. And Kid 1 seems to have adjusted to the new reality. So, all things considered, I’m sure as hell not complaining. Now that the weather is nice, I’ve started going for long walks again and I intend to re-start yoga in the next week or so. Now I just need to find some way to carve out daily writing time…

And breathe…

It’s time to knock off some of the pressure, I think.

Lately I’ve been finding it very hard to relax…hard to sleep, hard to concentrate on things. ¬†Things that I find fun are too tied up in anticipation, too tied up in what they might be taking time away from. ¬†Obviously, none of this is healthy.

Last night I received some sage advice: “You’re doing great with your writing. ¬†But I hate your wordcounts. ¬†Why are you putting so much pressure on yourself?”

And it’s true. ¬†It’s entirely true. ¬†If I look back to when I was writing ALL the time (let’s go with university and right after), did I ever have wordcount quotas? ¬†No. ¬†I sometimes did a wordcount for interest’s sake if I felt like I had had a particularly productive day but I never had a quota around it. ¬†And why should I have? ¬†I had no idea how long the finished product was going to be. I just wrote for the sheer enjoyment of it.

Writing has always been one of my favourite things to do, one of the best ways for me to relax. ¬†But over the past little while it hasn’t felt that way at all. ¬†The process has become a “chug out as much as possible in every single spare second”. ¬†And even on days when I have extraordinarily high word counts (yesterday: goal of 2000, wrote over 5000) it’s not enough because the book isn’t done. ¬†And apparently there is some voice in the back of my mind that if this doesn’t get 100% done by the time baby 2 arrives, it will never¬†get done.

And maybe that’s where this pressure is coming from. ¬†When Kid 1 was born, I wrote while he was an infant…but once he started napping less and needing my attention more, I very much fell away from it. ¬†Now that Kid 1 is older, I’m not always going to be able to sit down at my computer while Baby 2 is napping. ¬†And maybe, in the back of my mind, I feel like if I don’t finish this now, I just won’t.

But at what price?  Writing has become more of a pressure/stress thing for me these days than a pleasure.  And that, to me, is even worse than the thought of never getting this manuscript done.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to try (TRY) to eliminate some of the pressure. ¬†No more wordcount quotas. ¬†Or, if there are some, they will be very low. ¬†Instead I am simply going to ‘write’ every day. ¬†I’d rather spin off a brilliant short vignette of 500 words than kill myself trying to dredge up 3000 on a day when I’m not feeling into it. ¬†I don’t know how successful I’ll be: today I tried that method and was still all proud of myself for blowing the original wordcount away.

But I clearly do need to re-centre.  And I need to put writing back into the middle of that as something I turn to for relaxation Рnot something that has become a huge stress-factor in my life that I need to find some relief from.

PS – One of my favourite websites, Zen Habits¬†has in-depth discussions about how living without goals can be a path towards happiness and meaning. ¬†After last night’s conversation, I went and re-read some of the posts on it…it seems so hard to imagine living that way but also doable and well worth it. ¬†We’ll see how this goes.

Still here! Really!

Neglecting my blog, you say?  Whatever do you mean?

In my defence, last week got completely derailed by a very sick bunny and then -on ¬†the same night – kid 1 getting sick as well. ¬†Kid 1 is fine now and as for bunny…we’ll see. ¬†He’s responding well to his medication but there’s still some question about what all of this ultimately means that I don’t want to think about.

On the upside, before any of this happened I had already hit word count for last week. ¬†And I’m really glad about that since I didn’t get any writing done on Friday (looking after sick kid 1 all day), or Saturday (trying to keep no-longer-sick kid entertained all day since he still wasn’t allowed to be ‘around people’) or Sunday (trying to catch up on all of the little things that didn’t get done on Friday or Saturday). ¬†All of that meant that I felt like I started this week somewhat behind the eight ball.

Word count this week – Sunday aside – is, however, going remarkably well. ¬†Yesterday’s quota was 2000 words and I managed 6373, which is a record for me on this project. ¬†Today’s was 1000 (since I was out for most of the morning) and I did 2800. ¬†That means that I’m more than halfway into my quota for the week already. ¬†Not that I’m going to stop or relax about it or anything, but it’s always nice to have productive days. ¬†I’m both excited and nervous about the next sections as it is one of the few parts where I’ll be completely branching into new territory – the next two sections (at least) are not even loosely based on MS1 or MS2. ¬†Even if the previous sections have been completely rewritten, I usually have the ‘original’ beside me, even as a very rough guide. ¬†These next parts are completely original and not stemming from either…I’m stopping myself from getting started on them this afternoon only because I think another night of mulling them over in my head would probably do me some good.

(That being said, I might very well start in on it today.)